UK judge refuses Depp permission to appeal libel ruling

LONDON (AP) — A judge has refused Johnny Depp permission to appeal against a British court’s ruling that he assaulted ex-wife Amber Heard. Earlier this month a High Court judge rejected Depp’s claim that The Sun newspaper had  committed libel when it called him a “wife-beater.” Judge Andrew Nicol said the article was “substantially true.” Depp is seeking to overturn the judgment. But Nicol denied permission, saying “I do not consider that the proposed grounds of appeal have a reasonable prospect of success.” The judge also ordered Depp to make an initial payment of almost 630,000 pounds ($840,000) to News Group Newspapers, publisher of The Sun. Depp can still apply directly to the Court of Appeal.